Five ways employers can support parents working from home
Working from home may have started as a temporary situation for some parents but it’s quickly become the norm. Here’s how employers can support them.
Now that schools and nurseries are open again, some parents finally the flexibility they need to juggle both work and childcare options. There are still, however, plenty of challenges parents have to face, particularly with younger children.
Employers have had to rethink their policies and adjust to the transition in order to provide parents with all the help they need. If you feel you need additional support, you could discuss the following options with your employer.
1) Provide advice about childcare options
If you’re working from home with younger children you may need access to affordable and reliable household staff. Employers can offer their support in a number of ways through childcare referral systems and flexible working hours.
Childcare and household staff can be included as part of your “bubble” so ask your employer for any advice and information.
2) Offer flexible working arrangements
Employers are re-evaluating their policies in order to make them more family-friendly. If you’re concerned you aren’t able to make time for your children while working from home, you should speak to your employer and your own unique situation.
The needs of working parents can vary depending on the age of your children and type of job you do. The work from home transition has helped bring many of these issues to light.
3) Help parents cope with stress
More focus on families has resulted in many employers choosing to offer more support on how to cope with parenting anxiety. Employers are beginning to provide access to counselling services and reliable resources to help them cope with stress.
It’s important to feel as though you have a support system at work. Employers also need to make an effort to inform parents of any future changes to their working situation and their business to ease their anxiety.
4) Reassess policies
One of the positive things to come out of the pandemic is that it’s given many businesses the opportunities to reassess policies. Employers are evaluating their existing policies to ensure they are supportive enough for families.
More focus needs to be placed on vulnerable groups and those who might not have access to certain benefits. Employers are also reassessing their work from home policies and finding new ways to avoid unnecessary travel for all members of staff.
5) Provide guidance on health and hygiene
If working from home employees need to go into the office or workplace they need to be given sufficient information about workplace hygiene. This will help put parents who normally work from home at ease.
Employers should also provide guidance on health and hygeine and how to seek medical support. If you’re running your own business, it’s time to reassess your policies.
More and more companies are becoming aware of the needs of parents who work from home. Employers need to promote a culture which adopts family-friendly policies, and ensure that parents are given all the support they need.
Photo by Charles Deluvio